This blog used to be views on various things. But in all these years, I find it going a whole new direction.
Something which I have loved all the time. It's BOOKS!! So, presenting a whole new saga, of books and a little about them, whatever I can find, write, visualise and imagine...
thriller? A fantasy story? I do not know what it is to be called but it has a
little bit of history, world affairs, superheroes, gods, monsters along with a
little bit of love and a few relationships, thrown in and so… what do you call
that? And this author, Pratik Kamat has it all in his book!
Could you describe the journey of ‘Svaha : A
Battle of Epic Proportions’? How did it
begin? What kind of research was put into it?
The journey for Svaha
was quite a long one. I wrote the book back in 2012, it was optioned in 2013
and released in late 2014. The idea for a high-octane thriller was swirling in
my head for a while and one day I just decided to put pen to paper.
A lot of research was done
on a variety of topics that pop up in the book – everything from Indian
mythology to hacking. I love learning about new things so I would say with me
the research is always an on-going process.
How and why
did you choose Slash as your heroine, exactly?
Slash is based on
someone I once knew, although the version in the book is an amalgam of all interesting
women I’ve met in my life.
Women in Indian movies
are used mostly as a well-dressed prop with no real substance to their roles,
and I thought a tough-as-nails girl with a mind of her own would be interesting.
How would you
relate the lives of Slash, Nadar, Soldier X and Rahul Rao to the lives today?
I think there’s a
common thread that binds all these characters, and that is that they are all
caught in circumstances beyond their control. I don’t think of any of them as
heroes or villains but more like ordinary people stuck in extraordinary
I think being caught in
something that is much bigger than you is a situation we can all relate to in
How do you
think your book is different from everyone else’s?
It’s an exciting book
to read! I think the pace and the combination of mythological and thriller
elements in a contemporary setting is what makes it different.
Also, the lack of too
many unnecessary details that often bog down great books is something quite a
few people have liked. It is also very cinematic in its feel.
Between your storyline and your characters, which takes precedence?
I love my characters but the story gets the first preference, simply
because of the genre it’s in.
A thriller that meanders too much would not be exciting to read.
What was the most challenging part of writing this book?
Having a full-time job while trying to write is definitely the most
challenging part. Most people equate writers as social butterflies who
party-hop literary festivals and write in a café.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. It’s a strenuous job with little
or no reward for new comers, so yeah, managing work responsibilities with
writing as a hobby is tough.
your next book be out? Is a second part to this story to be expected?
I don’t know if anyone
is waiting for a sequel but yes, there is a sequel underway and it should be
done, from my end at least, by next year.
I’m not contracted for
a sequel, however. Publishing often takes a really long time so I can’t promise
when and if it’ll be out. Story wise the sequel is bigger and far darker than
Svaha, so I’m guessing people who read the first part should definitely check
do you think there is a sudden surge in stories based on mythology and fantasy,
Mythology has always
been a part of our lives. I guess as Indians get more and more westernised,
these tales serve as ties to our glorious past. Also these genres offer a great
deal of escapism, and that is something a majority of the middle class cannot
get enough of.
Who are your
favourite authors and why? / Who is you inspiration?
I thought I would like ‘Svaha : A Battle of Epic Proportions’ when I first heard of
it, so my excitement when I received it was palpable. Anyways, I opened the
book, with a million thoughts in my head, as is quite obvious when I opened any
book. This one said mythology too!
The opening chapter talks of a Somali pirate ship,
in search of an ancient weapon. The chapter moves on to a Dravidian cult, a religious
person and a powerful high priest.
We are then thrown into the sea, in the form of the wild
child, Slash who drives her bike in, thanks to her irresponsible riding and
eventually a crash. As she finds herself, being tugged upwards from the water
and soon lying beside her bike. She soon discovers that she has been rescued by
a superhero, of whom she has to find out more.
So, now we are in for a ride. Bikes, computer codes,
ancient weapons, superheroes, gods, monsters and the like. That’s not all, we
find ourselves in the middle of a terrorists, border disputes, and the LTTE and
the Kargil War to boot. Wait, that’s not all, the story runs into a little
romance, some relationships, between father-daughter, a couple of mentor -
I haven’t even started. Basically, as we go along,
we discover that it is up to Slash to save the world. This is her destiny, as
her father who left her and her mother, all those years ago.
As we survive the whole story plot, we are driven
into sub-plots, along the way. I am not going to reveal anything else, because
if I haven’t got adrenaline rushing, then I do not how it works. We have a bit
of mythology, fantasy, history, military strategies, the good and evil, and a
healthy dose of a couple of people, known simply as the Jurors. I am also guessing that we have more sequels
on the way.
Perhaps, the whole thing was little too much of
everything, but if it means an advent on an Indian Superhero, then Welcome Pratik Kamat. It’s a chess game, this book. You have to
fight to survive, and go through the many loopholes to see the Queen, in the end.
I must tell you that I have not read a single Ravi Subramanian book before this.
Secondly, I might as well add that I am really wondering what was wrong with
me. Thirdly, is revenge a crime?
Considering that 'God is a Gamer'
took more than a month to get to my desk, I can say that I was curious enough
to get to it and finish it at one go. But, I could not, though nevertheless it
is quite the excellent book. A mix of finance, gaming technology, even romance,
lust and politics, all together to form the effervescent thriller.
I must also add that I felt
that there was a little too much of everything, and perhaps it could have done
with fewer pages.
The story is a go-between New York, Washington, down to India’s Mumbai, Delhi, Goa and even the Andamans. It has characters in almost all these parts, and a web of
plots and intrigue is laid out. All the main parts are interconnected and it is
actually amazing to read, how and why they are so.
It is called the bitcoin
thriller, so an obvious explanation is there. The advent of digital currency
and the many places it is used is all explained in detail. Thank you Ravi
Subramnian, I do not think I have ever had a better explanation. But, the
bitcoins are not what build the story, but the elements, which help it go
Let’s get back to the
story. The story begins with the bitcoin meet between two
bankers and a US
Senator. It moves on to India and its involvement in the entire process, and
then to the gaming industry and its various elements. It also has the story’s bit
of love, lust and friendship.
events that bring about the end in this thriller. How the whole thing unravels
and how it builds towards the end form the rest of the story. The short
chapters make for the excitement and hurry in which, I read the story. A few
places, where I found errors was not very expected due to the standard of the book.
I would say that it is
a definite must read, though one must form one’s own conclusions. I, for one liked
the book, but did not love it.
Okay, I have noticed
quite a few students from IIMs turn to writing, since Chetan Bhagat. So, what should I
think of these writers? This would only be my thought process at work so, shall
we begin? Oh, I might miss a lot of people too, but this one only has authors,
I have read.
Let me begin with
Chetan Bhagat. I do not like any of his books, besides the
first one, ‘Five Point Someone’. I could go on about spellings and grammatical errors, but thankfully
his writing is pretty free of those. It just came out at a good time, because I
had just finished college and I was looking for a book to read. I liked the
book as it was simple and funny in parts. It had its darker shades as well, but
everyone wants that. (Actually, liked its movie version, ‘3 Idiots’ a lot more)
Vayuputras’. I was a little disappointed
with both, as they managed to, for lack of a better word, bore me. But, still
there is always hope and so, I am looking forward to his next one. Hopefully,
it will have the same twists and pace as his first book.
Karan Bajaj wrote ‘Keep
off the Grass’, which I thought was alright. I really do not have an opinion of
this book. Then came, Sidin Vadukut and his book, ‘The Incredible Adventures of
Robin ‘Einstein’ Varghese'. I do not have anything to say about this, except
that it made me feel like I wasted money.
I am sure there are a
lot of authors from IIM, nowadays, but I don’t think I have read all of them. But fortunately
or unfortunately, I had some good books and some bad books. So, basically I can
say this, Chetan Bhagat’s stories twisted by screenwriters make for a good
movie. I also heard that
Amish Tripathi’s book would be made into a movie by Karan Johar. I hear Hollywood producers also have the rights too. I think somebody
has movie rights to Karan Bajaj’s book too.
I have a feeling that
this is going to end pretty badly for me. It is not every day, that one can
criticise so many beings of excellent academic calibre. But, I can always hope that
there are IIM authors, whom I have not read, who are
good. And also, that some of the authors I have mentioned will churn out better